What causes high blood pressure?
Your risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older and you’re also more at risk if you’re of African or Caribbean origin.
If you have a family history of high blood pressure, it’s advisable to get your blood pressure checked regularly as this also means you could be at a greater risk.
Lifestyle factors that may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure
- Consuming a lot of salt in your diet
- Not taking enough exercise
- Obesity or being overweight
- Drinking large amounts of alcohol regularly
- Smoking and secondhand smoke
- Not getting enough sleep over a long period of time
Medicines and conditions known to cause high blood pressure
High blood pressure can be a result of an underlying medical condition, or a medicine you’re taking for a medical condition.
Some of the conditions that might lead to high blood pressure include:
- kidney disease
- long-term kidney infections and some kidney conditions
- obstructive sleep apnoea
- hormone problems such as an underactive or overactive thyroid, Cushing's syndrome, and more
Medicines that are known to increase blood pressure in some people include:
- the combined oral contraceptive pill (the pill)
- steroid medicines
- some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – like ibuprofen and naproxen
- some over-the-counter cold and cough products
- herbal remedies (especially those containing liquorice)
- recreational drugs – particularly amphetamines (speed) and cocaine